My Week…and…How To Make Biscotti!

Let all that you do be done in Love

1 Corinthians 16:18

Hello, sweet friends!

How was your week? In last week’s post…

I shared about freshening up the cottage kitchen…

and even now a week later I am still refreshing areas for a bit of change…do you ever feel like a change?

Scored a bright yellow pillow from Ross…$7.99



adding small pops of color…here & there

I snuck a photo of Joe…shhh…don’t tell him!😉

replanting a shrub…

The loft…

and most recently attempting to sort out the very small loft area. For some unknown reason I just can’t seem to quite get things organized the way Id like to. do you have areas like that?

In the process of sorting through things I came across a birthday card from 4 months ago… ( I can’t even believe that December was FOUR months ago!) a dear friend had offered me a baking day in her kitchen as a gift. (I love my friend!) I couldn’t believe my luck…so I quickly called her to remind her of her offer! (Bahaha!) Needless to say the loft is still a mess

in need of organizing…

let’s make biscotti!

however I did accomplish getting in a fun baking day and a great recipe for you to try for yourself!

I snuck a photo of my dear friend…shhh…don’t tell her!😉


These are dry-crisp, double-baked (which I learned that’s what biscotti means…twice baked) cookies that look a bit like toasted slices of bread. They have a wonderful anise & lemon flavor.

my friend also added cranberries


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground anise

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup unsalted butter slightly softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

finely grated zest of two large lemons

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract


Preheat the oven to 375°… grease a large baking sheet and set aside. Thoroughly stir together flour, anise, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and granulated sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, lemon zest, and lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in about half the dry ingredients. As dough stiffens, stir in remaining dry ingredients with a large wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a smooth, evenly shaped log about 11 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. (Shaping is easiest if dough is placed in wax paper, then rolled back and forth until smooth.) Unroll logs from the paper directly onto baking sheet, spacing them as far from one another as possible. Press down logs to flatten them slightly.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until logs are lightly browned. Remove baking sheet from the oven and let logs stand until completely cooled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Cut logs diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices using a large, sharp knife. Lay slices out flat on baking sheet, return to oven, and toast for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn over slices and bake 4 to 5 minutes on second side. ( The longer the baking time, the crisper and dryer the slices will be.) remove from the oven and transfer biscotti to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 30 3 1/2 to 4 inch biscotti.

*note: A generous 3/4 teaspoon anise extract may be substituted for ground anise. Add anise extract at the same time lemon extract is added. One other note is my friend also added cranberries. 😘

Bon Appetit!
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A Cottage Spring Renewal

This little house of mine…I’m gonna make it shine…🌸


Since this is the season for renewal…

Hello, sweet friend…how was your week?

this past week while Joe was on a guy’s vacay…I decided to do a spring refresh on the original 1946 cabinetry in our very quaint kitchen…💕

A fresh coat of white paint makes a huge difference when you want to make a room bright and happy.  Here’s my sweet little kitchen all cleaned up…charmingly awaiting Joe’s arrival home…enjoy!

cute mini shelves…🐝

a place for everything and…everything in its place….

black & white checkered pattern makes me smile💋

milk bottles from France…used as vases

a tray from a friend sits happily on the slate


a rug that has been everywhere in the cottage.🌷

As you can see…there is no need to get fancy when doing a refresh…just grab your paint brush…and begin…

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!💋

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Building A Spring Capsule Wardrobe

”The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t”

-Joshua Baker

This is what inspired me to freshen up the cottage kitchen🦋🌻🌺🐝

Hello, sweet friends! Today I am re-posting one of my most popular posts. Spring is a perfect time to re-fresh & re-edit our closets…and life.🌺🐝🌷🌻

Click on the link below to see what I have been re-freshing this week…I look forward to sharing the end result with you…





A Spring Capsule Wardrobe

by Marcia Ren


Spring has arrived. It’s time to shed that heavy winter coat and get ready for traveling a little lighter.

This past week I jumped into my Spring-cleaning beginning with the closets. This is where I carry my baggage. literally

 It’s here where unwanted worn items seem to accumulate. fast & furiously Ones that take up unnecessary space and time. you know what I mean Going through and getting rid of those items which hinder living simply and more fully.

I have accepted that this closet de-cluttering/editing will most likely be an annual exercise for me. I seem to accumulate things stuff  it’s a part of who I was for many years.

The important thing however is that I’m now the best I’ve ever been and have learned how to edit things stuff before they get out of hand.

For me it’s all about having a  clearing out time. Perhaps you have wondered how to accomplish this.

It’s been a trial and error thing for me. a continual process of conversion but trust me there is hope ahead. Just recently I decided it was time to transition from a Winter to Spring wardrobe.  There are numerous ways in which to do this and what worked for me might not work for you. With that said one morning and with thoughtful intention I removed all clothing from my closet that hadn’t been worn in the last year. (I do the hanger trick of leaving the hangers of clothing not worn in same position making it easy to identify un-worn items) Then I pulled out the Winter items & carefully switched those to the loft closet.

By doing this I was able to see only those items which I knew I loved and would wear.

Simplifying my wardrobe by having a certain number of clothes & shoes that coordinate with one another. ( that number for me is around 40 per season & includes 13-15 tops, 7-9 pants, 8-10 shoes, 4-5 skirts, 4-5 dresses/coats/jackets, 2-4 handbags)

By doing this I’m able to pull outfits together in half the time.  This process also helps to identify your favorite neutral, main, and accent colors. Here are a few outfits that I’ve put together for my Spring wardrobe. (my accent colors are pinks & oranges)

Tried and True Tips for building your own capsule wardrobe

  • Clear out anything/everything that you haven’t worn in a year. Begin with the easy stuff. (out of style, old, worn, etc.) then move on to mistake purchases (items you purchased on sale & have never worn) then clear out anything that doesn’t fit your authentic self. (this is important. I have purchased things in the past that just don’t work now since I live on the Oregon coast) Toss!!!
  • Keep only those items that fit you, & your lifestyle now. (This is an important step to ensure every item in your wardrobe fits your lifestyle and includes only the items you need.)  As the season changes repeat #1 & reassess your wardrobe bringing only those pieces that will transition into the new season. (case in point I kept a light sweater from my winter wardrobe to pair with my spring.)
  • Shop Intentionally. This was a HUGE one for me. I have always been one to buy something if I liked/wanted it (a little embarrassing to admit) It’s important to have a focus when you are shopping for clothes. I have found that I’m drawn to certain colors & try to make sure that I’ll be able to blend & wear my purchase with other items for more than just one season.
  •  And last but not least I have found that since I became more conscious of how I choose to purchase things I am also more aware of how much less I actually need. (in regards to clothing the more I’m able to mix/match the more outfits I have) This awareness has effected other areas of my life as well. Everything is interconnected. A small step in one area leads to another in others and before you know it you will see great results.

How do you create a wardrobe for Spring?

I’d love to hear about it. perhaps even a photo?


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Postcards From Paris…The Return Home💋

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow”

-Anita Desai

The first week of Spring
Le Petite Maison

Preparing to return home…

returning home

where we left off…

Travel…often brings…

leaving Paris

mixed feelings…

I’m ready to return and yet...

there is a part of me that wants to stay…

arrived in London

just a bit longer…

So anyway…here we are back at Hotel Avonmore in London…


our last day before heading back to the states…

We enjoy fish and chips at Marquis Cornwallis…

A bittersweet good-bye

a wonderful pub down the street from where we are staying…

last stroll in London

After dinner as we stroll the streets back to the hotel…

wedding anniversary at The Ritz in Paris France

I begin thinking about all the wonderful experiences of our 15th wedding anniversary trip…

At The Strand Hotel in London

All the particular spots we visited…

River Thames

Windsor Castle
The cobblestone street in Windsor
Tea Time by the castle

The Cottswolds

I hold them close to my heart…

I don’t take anything for granted…and always consider each trip the opportunity of a lifetime…treasuring every moment…

I’ve been blessed to experience…

what it is to live under a lucky star…

Btw…if you are a new visitor you can click below for the beginning

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The Making of a Garden

Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds. – anonymous

Recently I decided that 2019 would be the Year of the Garden for this sweet cottage…

That being said as soon as the rain breaks and frost stops…you will find me outside wandering around the cottage pondering this and that about what to plant and create.🌞

Hello, sweet friends🌷

A quick glimpse of my week

I hope you enjoyed the video…(if you want to view it larger just click on the upper left double arrows of the video)😘

A vintage tea cart for Mr. & Mrs. Bunny🌷

This past week as I looked around the inside of the cottage I realized that things have come together nicely…

Bunny hop…

I feel satisfied (content) with how this sweet cottage continues to evolve…

It’s now time to envision the outdoor spaces of the cottage…garden

The rocks Joe collects from our beach walks create a lovely border for flowers💐

Not exotic garden spaces…just small areas where a beautiful tree…shrubs….

flowering plants can grow…change…living happily together.

In a corner of the garden…a private room for seclusion & rest…

I think happiness is a state of mind…everything here gives me satisfaction. My home…family…garden…animals…and the abundance of nature.

A garden can be anything we make it…and I fancy one filled with herbs…vines…shrubs…trees…and much love.🌷



A blend of greens for a quick meal

After a day of gardening I was desiring a healthy easy to put together meal. I decided to use up a few items I had on hand. Fortunately I had enough to feed both Joe and myself.😘



Variety of other greens…I had a small bag of kale…cabbage…carrots

Cherry tomatoes


2 cups cooked Pasta (I used ziti)

Vinaigrette (whatever you have on hand…I used raspberry)


“This is going to be a delicious lunch”

arrange spinach sparingly

layer other greens…

a few cherry tomatoes…
time for the pasta…

time for the quinoa…


Rinse spinach and arrange sparingly on plate…layer other greens…tomatoes…pasta…and quinoa…top with vinaigrette.

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